Coding Interview Guide: Before and In the Interview

Preparing for a coming coding interview is both exciting and tiring. For those graduates that are going to their first interview, they don’t know what to expect from it. What questions will the interviewers ask? How can get myself ready for those questions? Read this coding interview at to understand what’s behind the coding interviews.

Before the coding interview

  1. Do your research!

Get to know the company and the interviewers as much as possible. Learn about the company culture and their preferred languages.

2. Practice your coding skills!

Master data structures and algorithms of some kind. Spend enough time on your best skills to make sure you could stand out among the candidates.

3. Always be ready for coding challenges!

Now, the question is: what is the interview going to be like?

The process of the interview

Usually, the normal process of a coding interview includes 3 or 4 steps.

Phone screen coding interview about non-technical questions

You are likely to receive a casual phone call from a recruiter, asking about some of your basic information. It only takes several minutes or a quarter at most.

  • Your personal information and current situation.
  • The time you would like to sign in an offer, say next week or in one month.
  • Your expectations from the next job. What do you value most from it? Self-improvement such as a promotion? An excellent team? Flexible hours? Higher salary?
  • What kind of skills you are good at and what you’re interested in. Front or back end, or machine learning?
  • What can you bring to the team or the whole company?
  • Other non-technical questions.

Tips: Answer the questions honestly.

Phone interviews solving technical problems

This step will take a much longer time since they will ask about technical problems. This will usually take place on Google Hangouts. Make sure you’re well-dressed and in a proper environment. Test your internet and hardware in advance for any potential issues that might ruin the interview.

You need to solve the coding problems while the interviewers watching you live. This web-based code editor real-time test can be stressful indeed. To avoid any problems, you had better practice on some of those editors before the interview. Being familiar with what you’re working on will calm you down.

  • Chi-chat as a start.

Introduce yourself to the interviewers. Demonstrate and explain what you’re good at and have achieved so far. Give detailed information about something you have mentioned on your resume.

  • Solving tech problems.

They will spend most of the interview time here. The questions mainly focus on data structures and algorithms. Solving these problems is a shred of good evidence to show your skills and competence.

Different positions ask for some specific skills. Similarly, different companies ask different questions.

  • You can ask questions.

Be sure to make full use of this time to ask the most important questions you want to know.

On-site coding interview with several interviewers

When you pass the previous 2 steps, you’ll enter the in-person step. At the office, usually, more than one employer will meet you.

what's a coding interview like

One-on-one interviews about technical problems will take place. It will take about one hour for each. During the onsite coding test, you will be asked to code on a whiteboard. That’s the crucial part.

  • Use the whiteboard wisely, manage the room and time.
  • In case you need to add or optimize some lines later, always remember to leave some space between each line.
  • Thinking carefully before you decide on the variable names will save time for the entire process.
  • Always think creatively and aim for optimization within a limited time.

A take-home code test 

You’ll problem be given a piece of homework if you succeed in the last 3 steps. Here is how it often goes. You will receive a description of a service or some app. They give you a limited period to write your code for it.

You can use the choice language you’re best at to solve the take-home test. By doing this, you can highlight your strength.

Other possible questions that you’ll meet in the coding interview

Except for what we’ve mentioned, there are other questions.

Why are you a good candidate for the job? 

This should be one of the main coding interview questions that you answer in your preparedness. You have to show that you have a basic knowledge of the programming language which is your interviewer’s primary concern. Even though it is obvious that the interviewer will also want an experienced person for the job, you may still want to impress them a little more and mention how good you think you are in terms of your ability in using the front-end portion of the code.

Are you familiar with the python programming language? 

Most interviews for front-end coding jobs require you to be familiar with the python language. The reason why this question is asked is that most of the questions involve python code which is written using python syntax. To show your familiarity with the Python syntax, it would be better if you read python source code and play with it. In addition, familiarizing yourself with the syntax of the python language will make you a good candidate for the job.

How familiar are you with the chosen language? 

The reason why you are asked this question is that the coding jobs usually involve some mathematical or space complexities. When you code, it is easy to miss a few spaces or tabulation marks. Therefore, you have to ensure that you are familiar with the syntax of the chosen language in order to provide an accurate and correct answer. In addition, when you are coding, make sure that you can provide an example sentence showing the use of any space complications.


Cracking a coding interview is not easy. Good preparation is the only option. And practice is the only method. For more professional programming or coding information, visit They offer various kinds of useful courses and programs.

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